Ev­ery­where There Must Be Prayers

The Guardian (Nigeria) - - OPINION -

awarded the con­tract.

Road­side Univer­sity (RU for short) is a PPP, a univer­sity set up on a pri­vate, pub­lic par­tic­i­pa­tion ba­sis. We are nei­ther pri­vate nor pub­lic, nei­ther bird or rat. That is why the spe­cial sign of the univer­sity is a bat and the favourite tree is the fish­tail leave tree, nei­ther palm tree nor or­di­nary tree. RU our ini­tials can be read as RUE, ‘to take the con­se­quences of any ac­tion’. It could also be read as Yoruba word for ‘carry’. In one word Road­side Univer­sity takes re­spon­si­bil­i­ties. The peo­ple of this coun­try Nige­ria whose nick­name is KOKUMO, have de­clared this era as the era of prayers. We are with the peo­ple. All our re­search ef­forts are now con­cen­trated on Prayers. It is out of the pre­lim­i­nary re­sults of our re­searches that we are able to­day to ap­ply to gov­ern­ments at all lev­els for the con­tract to sup­ply prayers to the coun­try.

Our re­search has re­vealed that it is not in the in­ter­est of any de­ity to an­swer all prayers, any prayers at all times, at any time. When prayers are an­swered peo­ple tend to for­get the de­ity. They are too busy cel­e­brat­ing the an­swer­ing of their prayers that they for­get who an­swered their prayers.

And if they don’t for­get the de­ity, they make new de­mands, re­quests that were not part of the orig­i­nal con­tract. So, why do deities hes­i­tate to grant all prayers? Like all aca­demic ques­tions, there is no fi­nal an­swer. Like Ifa div­ina­tion cor­pus, re­search is al­ways cu­mu­la­tive. Our re­search has re­vealed that deities keep prayer de­man­ders wait­ing so that they will keep com­ing back to re­quest the same prayers - long life, child, chil­dren, money, money, money, de­feat of en­e­mies, money, suc­cess in life. How have the re­searchers at RU solved this prob­lem? Un­for­tu­nately, this is now a trade se­cret, which can­not be re­vealed ex­cept with the pay­ment of ad­e­quate fees. We do have the so­lu­tion to unan­swered prayers.

In ten­der­ing for the con­tract to sup­ply prayers to the fed­eral, the state and the lo­cal gov­ern­ments, we dis­tin­guish three types of prayers: the rou­tine, the spe­cial and the ur­gent.

The rou­tine is es­tab­lished by the usual every­day, ev­ery month or even ev­ery new year wish thus: an in­crease of wealth, an in­crease of the num­ber of chil­dren, and an in­crease of good health, the great­est of all wealth. The spe­cial prayer can­not be listed by Road­side Univer­sity. We de­pend on our clients to sup­ply to us their spe­cial prayer needs. Since our clients are gov­ern­ments for the time be­ing, their spe­cial re­quests has to do with be­ing able to know who the en­e­mies of the gov­ern­ments are so that the gov­ern­ments can deal with them. That is al­ways their spe­cial prayer. Re­veal to them their en­e­mies and all their trou­bles will end.

Although it is not the busi­ness of the univer­sity to pro­vide un­paid­for ad­vice to gov­ern­ments, we usu­ally sug­gest that the best gov­ern­ments in the world can take ev­ery cit­i­zen in their coun­try as en­e­mies or as friends. To take some as friends and oth­ers as en­e­mies makes gov­ern­ment vir­tu­ally im­pos­si­ble to run. One or the other. Friends or en­e­mies. As for ur­gent prayers, again it is the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the client to place be­fore us what their ur­gent prayers are.

How are prayers costed? Is ‘costed’ cor­rect English? Any­way you know what the univer­sity is say­ing, say­ing how does the univer­sity bill for dif­fer­ent cat­e­gories of prayers? The past tense has be­come a dif­fi­cult tense in Nige­rian English. Our lan­guage fac­ulty is set­ting up a spe­cial re­search com­mit­tee on the past tense in Nige­rian com­mu­ni­ca­tion. The cost of prayers. If X is the cost of rou­tine prayers, spe­cial prayers cost X times 1,000; ur­gent prayers cost X times 1,000,000. We do not charge our clients in any cur­rency other than the almighty naira, with muri (20 naira) as the min­i­mal unit of ac­count­ing.

For the in­for­ma­tion of our clients we do list the ways and means of our prayers. We em­ploy and sub­con­tract all deities on earth on be­half of our clients to en­sure their prayers are an­swered timeously. This last word does not sound good to the ears. “In time” rather than ugly “timeously.” Clients are al­lowed to tell us which deities they pre­fer for their prayers to be ad­dressed to. At ex­tra cost we can present the prayers to other deities.

How long do clients have to wait be­fore they can claim that their prayers have not been an­swered and they want their money back? As far as the univer­sity is con­cerned, there is no time guar­an­tee. After all we are not God. And we can­not play God. Our ef­forts of pros­trat­ing, rolling in mud and rags and ashes, fast­ing for days and nights with a min­i­mum of seven days and seven nights, go­ing to moun­tains of bare rocks and of wooded soil, we would have made our pre­sen­ta­tion to the deities that be. On this ba­sis we hope to win the con­tract.

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